Just wanted to recommend the two illustration blogs I follow at the moment: fer1972 and septagonstudios. I would go completely crazy without them. The art these two blogs post keeps me stimulated, and brings me constantly back from the edge of workaday despair.
On a related note, everybody on tumblr is posting creepy shit today! Why so much creepy shit, tumblr? Shouldn’t you save some for Halloween?
A few days ago Mike and I cleaned the apartment and I discovered why I’ve been having trouble with my typewriter: there was a whole stick of gum caught in it (still wrapped!). There was literally gum. Gumming up the works.
At the beginning of January, in the bookshop of Terminal 2 at San Francisco airport, I looked for a translation of the Iliad – not that I really expected to find one. But there were ten: one succinct W.H.D. Rouse prose translation and one Robert Graves, in prose and song, both in paperback; two blank verse Robert Fagles in solid covers; one rhythmic Richmond Lattimore with a lengthy new introduction;[*] and three hardback copies of the new Stephen Mitchell translation, with refulgent golden shields on the cover and several endorsements on the back, of which the most arresting is by Jaron Lanier, author of You Are Not a Gadget: ‘The poetry rocks and has a macho cast to it, like rap music.’
“Hi, my name’s Zoe. I got your number from someone, I was wondering if you had some…stuff to sell. (pause) Uh, I said I was wondering if you had some STUFF to sell? (pause) I SAID, I WAS WONDERING IF YOU HAD SOME WEED I COULD BUY FROM YOU.”
Dreamt that I was taking some kinda standardized test to get into grad school, out on a picnic blanket in the sun with everybody I know. I was conscious the entire time that I was doing terribly, and felt like I was suffocating—then somehow I swallowed my extremely sharp number 2 pencil. I could feel its point stabbing me in the stomach, but everybody kept telling me to keep doing the test, and I was trying to, even though I felt like the pencil was going to stab through my stomach lining.
Then I dreamt that I was telling somebody about the previous dream, and they were really bored (ha!).
I couldn’t feel any more situated in my own skin. Unfortunately, work couldn’t be any more complicated, any more stressful, and any less meaningful. It couldn’t be any more beautiful outside today.
I needed a breather just now, some fresh air, so I went bummed a cigarette from a worker. Told him I was having a bad day. He said, “this won’t make it any better, but it’ll smooth it out a little.” I told him perfect. I walked to the abandoned lot near my apartment building and smoked it. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a Harvey Pekar comic strip.
Everything is hanging in this state of always waiting, of refusing to move forward. The University of Texas told me I should hear from them with a decision by Friday, and Friday came and went. I’m still waiting to hear from CUNY, and from Temple. I don’t want to apply to any more jobs until I know whether or not I’m going to graduate school.
Mike is still waiting on Texas too, but odds are he’ll wind up staying in Philly for a while. Will I? Dare I dream that we’ll get an apartment together, instead of living in one squashed room, like a real couple? Who knows…more waiting.
I’m waiting to hear from a literary magazine I sent some submissions to. I’m going to submit to another literary magazine tonight, and then it’ll be more waiting to see if they want to publish me.
Everything is on hold, I’ve done everything I can to propel it forward, and I mean—odds are I’ll probably get rejected from every school, I’ll apply to more jobs that I won’t hear back from (nobody seems to feel the need to issue formal rejection letters anymore), and then I’ll still be at this job. Doing what I’m doing now, with no chance of a promotion. Meaningless. Odds are these places won’t publish me, and I’ll be…here.
I have a job, I’m secure, and I’m grateful for that. But I want to do more than this. I *can* do more than this, but the odds really are stacked against me, and this whole waiting period…waiting for everything; for my future, for the future of my relationship with the guy I love…all this waiting and not being able to do anything to shorten the waiting time…is infuriating.
Meanwhile, the day-to-day is somehow getting increasingly stressful, even though I’m now confident that I’m doing my job very well.
I couldn’t have better weekends, better friends, or a better softball team. I just want to know how I can start planning my next step already, because I feel useless pretty frequently. Today I feel hangdog.
Last night I dreamt that Emily, Lily, our parents, and I were in this place that was some sort of tourist attraction, but the size of its own small city. The main way of getting around was a sort of subway system whose stations were basically impossible to find, and when we did find one the routes of the trains didn’t seem to make sense. Every region of the place was really distinct from the others. I spent a large portion of the night trying to figure out how to navigate the place, and in particular how to leave, which we finally accomplished at the end of the dream.
At one point the women went looking for a bathroom, while the men went somewhere else. We wound up taking a train to an area where we thought the bathrooms were, and found a row of doors. We entered one, and found a room that turned out to be very spacious albeit somewhat dank, and sure enough there was a toilet up against one wall in plain sight, and an old-fashioned chain hanging from the ceiling a little ways off. There was also a drain in the floor, which I thought was odd.
A woman entered the room and asked if we’d like manicures. After hesitating a bit, we eventually agreed we’d all get them together. More women identical to the first drifted in through the door and joined her in coating our hands in giant splotches of what appeared to be thick paint. I remember thinking that this was very strange, but that the women must use a technique where they cover our hands in blotchy paint and then somehow whittle it away. They were very quiet, and had soft giggles like bells. It was very easy to relax and lose track of what was happening.
More and more of the women started springing up out of nowhere, not coming in through the door anymore. Eventually someone asked where they were coming from, and it was revealed that they weren’t human, but an alien species that reproduced asexually and instantly.
We accepted this. But eventually one of us tried to leave and discovered that the door was locked. At this we grew anxious, and then the first woman’s skin seemed to pop, and a gigantic body grew out of her very suddenly—it looked like an octopus the brown-green color of all the shades of paint the women were using mixed together, and we discovered that our hands were covered in the paint, that it was everywhere, and that it was forming ropes which led to the octopus. The octopus alien was going to use the ropes—which were actually like veins, and were grafting themselves to us—to ingest us. Identical women were still appearing all around us.
I think that we fought them off, and then my dad turned up and forced the door open and helped us escape.
This was just one part of the place in my dream—the one I remember best—but the whole dream was this vivid and this strange, and it lasted all night. I wish I remembered just what we were doing there in the first place.
The inner third of my left eyebrow really wants to stick straight up instead of following the tide of its left-leaning brethren. This either makes it look like I have a bald patch in my eyebrow, or hints at a really bad-ass scar which on closer inspection turns out to be a bald patch.
In contrast, the front of my hair on the right side wants to stick up too.